GUEST REVIEW: A reader's take on the HTC Wildfire

Here’s a funny thing – reader and aspiring writer Tim has written us a review of the HTC Wildfire, HTC’s low-spec and rather affordable Android 2.1 smartphone.

And he did quite a good job of it, using commas and capital letters and everything – so we’re going to use it. Here it is. Take it away, Tim.

TIM’S WILDFIRE REVIEW PART ONE: First impressions

Out of the box, the Wildfire looks like the younger brother of the Desire, about three quarters the size, with similar if slightly chunkier curves, and just a hint of HTC’s trademark chin. The Wildfire has a 2GB Micro SD card pre-installed (it supports up to 32GB), and the standard wired stereo headphones / microphone are included.

With the latest version of HTC Sense, the Wildfire has an intuitive and enjoyable interface, with multiple home screens and a widget for just about everything. Your Google contacts are linked to your Facebook friends, and your updates, tweets and more are mashed together in the Friend Stream widget.

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Sadly, while playing with all of these new toys, you discover the Wildfire’s weakness: its screen. It’s a good size at 3.2 inches, but the resolution is low, just 240 x 320 pixels. I don’t want to be too harsh, but with the fancier widgets the text has to be rendered larger to be readable, and you just can’t fit enough of it in.

If you’ve used a phone with a nicer display such as the Desire (or even the beleaguered Hero) you’re going to notice the pixelation. On the other hand, if this is your first step up into the wonderful world of Android smartphones, it will probably suffice.

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The screen was obviously sacrificed to keep costs down. But if you’re willing to accept that minor shortcoming, you get to enjoy many other HTC enhancements to the UI, as well as Android 2.1 and Google Navigation, in a rather neat budget phone.

Tomorrow I’ll explore the user interface in greater depth.

Thanks, Tim! Although we might upload Part Two later today. We’ll see how it goes. If you have any questions about the Wildfire, stick them in the comments. Hopefully Tim will pop in to justify himself.

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